Researchers from McKinsey & Company have found that 19% of Black households currently have a negative net worth. In comparison, only 9% of white families in America currently have a negative net worth. Adding on, the report also found that there is a 220 billion wage gap between Black workers and white workers.
“We took a holistic look at the black experience through the different roles and found out the disparities are everywhere,” Shelley Stewart III of the Institute for Black Economic Mobility at McKinsey & Company said.
“We need more Black lawyers, Black teachers, and Black doctors...a significant part of the gap can be closed off with those three positions."
In order for there to be more Black lawyers, Black teachers and Black doctors, a number of things need to change or be completely removed from society. Eradicating the school-to-prison pipeline, properly funding Black colleges and providing clean water and food to marginalized communities that are predominantly Black would be a great start. In addition, fair government support for small Black-owned businesses and diversifying workplaces across the nation would help as well.
“We have got to re-evaluate our definition of diversity within the workplace,” Stewart III added.
“Really, it starts at the front-end with recruiting, progression, [and] pay equity.”
The growing net worth gap between Black and white families could also be remedied by providing realistic pathways for Black Americans to hold higher-paying roles across different industries. For example, McKinsey & Company found that 5% of America's physicians and 4.5% of its software developers are Black. Meanwhile, more than 30% of the country's nursing assistants, a career with a median wage of just $23,000, are Black.
"The racial wage disparity is the product of both representational imbalances and pay gaps within occupational categories and it is a surprisingly concentrated phenomenon," the study states.
Despite these obstacles and setbacks, Stewart III and company are confident that the country can work to solve these issues.
"We have a particular moment, which unfortunately was prompted by the murder of George Floyd and the disproportionate impact of Covid 19 impact on Black Americans to really re-examine that we approach racial justice through this frame of broader economic participation," Stewart III concluded.